Abbott‘s (NYSE:ABT) Alere (NYSE:ALR) has agreed to pay $20 million to settle an investor’s suit claiming it made misleading statements about its blood diagnostics business shortly before its proposed billion-dollar merger with Abbott, according to recently released court documents.
The suit was originally filed in 2016 by Judith Godinez in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, claiming infractions under specific sections of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, according to court documents. The suit was later consolidated with other suits as a class action complaint.
In February 2017, Alere sought to dismiss the complaint, which was partially dismissed in August. The discovery process in the case began in December 2017, according to court documents, with more than 555,000 pages of documents produced by the defendant and non-parties.
On March 7, 2018, lead counsel and defendants’ counsel joined a mediation session, though a settlement was not reached, according to court documents. Both parties continued to work towards a settlement, but continued the case as one had not yet been reached.
“In light of the mediation, multiple motion hearings before the court, and additional discovery, plaintiffs were able to more accurately assess the merits and risks of continuing to prosecute the action and, in July 2018, the parties determined that they were close to reaching a settlement agreement. Accordingly, the parties postponed all noticed depositions and certain other deadlines, including further briefing on the issue of class certification, to allow the Parties to focus on settlement discussions,” court documents read.
Both parties arrived at a $20 million settlement deal, which was “memorialized in a term sheet” on August 31, 2018, filing a joint motion to stay proceedings which was granted days later, according to court documents.
The settlement was agreed upon officially last week, according to court documents.
Last March, the U.S. Dept. of Justice said that Alere agreed to pay $33.2 million to resolve allegations that it knowingly sold unreliable point-of-care diagnostic devices, causing hospitals to submit false claim to Medicare, Medicaid and other federal healthcare programs.